Contact the Elderly is a national charity with a local touch. We are active in over 670 communities across England, Scotland and Wales which means we see how loneliness and social isolation affects older people and their wellbeing.
Over the course of 2016, thanks to the dedication of Contact the Elderly staff and thousands of volunteers, we were able to take over 5,400 older people to afternoon tea every month.
This means quiet Sunday afternoons are replaced with warm afternoons of chatter and tea. Our research has shown this makes a significant difference to the physical and mental wellbeing of our beneficiaries.
Contact the Elderly staff share their memories of the work they have done in their communities in 2016.
I received a letter from a referrer who said: ‘‘Just to say I phoned Elizabeth to see how she was today. She told me about the recent tea party she attended. I have never heard Elizabeth so talkative; she told me all about the party in detail. How opulent it was and how she was treated like royalty. How blessed she felt and how nice everyone was to her. It had really helped to take her mind off the loss of her daughter this year.’’
Lorna Dunbar, Support Officer
I received a card from the family of one of our older guests which said: ‘‘Thank you for the kindness you show our Mum/Nan. She loves coming out with you and meeting people that she has in common with.’’
Beth Young, Support Officer
A lady once told me: ‘‘Going to the tea parties is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Anna Poulton, Communications and Administration Assistant
I had a call from a guest who attended her first tea party on Sunday; she called to say thank you. She said: ‘‘I sat waiting to be picked up and I saw my car pull up. I felt so special. When I went we had a great chat. It’s not often organisations do things where you can talk. Often you are talked at and it’s nice to just talk. We were all saying see you next month like we have been friends for years!’’
Hannah John, National Development Officer
I spoke on the phone to an older lady who said: ‘‘I was painting my nails and getting an outfit ready when I realised I had nowhere to go.’’ I’m really glad we’re able to offer her a solution to her loneliness.
Liam Johnson, Communications Officer
If you know an older person aged 75 or over and living alone who would benefit from joining their local tea party group, you can refer them to our service here.